Everyone deserves a second chance, so says David Cameron anyway. The next spending review is his and it may be his last. Whether the coalition is a success or failure now hinges on how decisively it can shrink the state.
It may be recess but as Downing Street works out what process to follow for this next spending review, Mr Cameron’s mind should be firmly fixed on this. The Government must go back to the beginning and do what should have been done the first time round – a review of spending that is genuinely comprehensive.
All the easy cuts have now been made – the efficiency savings, the trimmings, the “low-hanging fruit”. But the stark reality is that spending must be reduced further and this can only been done through a fundamental rethink of what the government should and shouldn’t be doing. Gordon Brown may have managed to prevent Tony Blair from ever trying, but with the public finances in the state they are in, George Osborne and David Cameron have no choice.
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